I first met Arlene Henry, Q.C. when she acted as a mediator in a wills variation case. During one of the break-out sessions I remember she mentioned that her mother was a great cook. Well, years later we became friends and I met her mother. That night was Arlene’s birthday and her mother made a pear ginger crisp for dessert that I will never forget. I adore the combination of pear and ginger in a crisp or a crumble, but typically find that too much additional sugar has been added to the filling, spoiling the balance between the spiciness of the candied ginger and the natural sweetness of the pear. That night when I tasted the crisp, the balance was perfect (and I even added a little scoop of vanilla ice cream on top). She is a great cook and this was the world’s best pear and ginger crisp. Here is the recipe which she has graciously allowed us to share with our readers:
2 cans (28 oz) sliced pears, well drained
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup rolled Oats (not instant)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. water
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup thinly sliced candied ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp finely grated lemon peel
1/2 cup butter, melted
whipped cream or ice cream (optional)
* Gently toss drained pears with fresh lemon juice, reserve.
* Dissolve sugar in water in non-stick frying pan set over medium heat.
Once bubbling, cook, without stirring, until mixture turns amber, about 5 to 7 minutes.
* Remove mixture from heat immediately. Shielding your hand with a tea towel, pour the caramel over the pears and toss to coat evenly.
* Add candied ginger and toss gently until combined. Spoon mixture into a lightly buttered 9-in square baking dish.
* In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and peel until mixed. Then drizzle in melted butter. Stir until well combined. sprinkle topping evenly over pears.
Bake at 375 deg. F for 40 to 45 minutes or until topping is golden and crisp.
Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
Makes 9 to 12 servings.